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Substitute Senate Bill No. 144

Public Act No. 04-43


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 16-356 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

Any person, public agency or public utility which the Department of Public Utility Control determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing as provided in section 16-41, to have failed to comply with any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted under section 16-357 shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than [ten] forty thousand dollars, provided any violation involving the failure of a public utility to mark the approximate location of underground facilities correctly or within the timeframes prescribed by regulation, which violation did not result in any property damage or personal injury and was not the result of an act of gross negligence on the part of the public utility, shall not result in a civil penalty of more than one thousand dollars. Notwithstanding the provisions contained in subsection (d) of section 16-41, the person, public agency or public utility receiving a notice of violation pursuant to subsection (c) of section 16-41 shall have thirty days from the date of receipt of the notice in which to deliver to the department a written application for a hearing.

Sec. 2. Section 16-357 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter. Such regulations shall be designed to protect the public safety and shall prescribe (1) the duties and responsibilities of persons, public agencies and public utilities with respect to excavating, discharging explosives or demolition in proximity to any public utility underground facility and (2) a schedule establishing the amounts which may be assessed as civil penalties for violations of this chapter, as provided in section 16-356, based upon the nature and severity of the violation and the number of past violations, but not to exceed the maximum penalty contained in said section. The department shall revise the regulations adopted pursuant to this section regarding a graduated schedule of civil penalties assessed pursuant to section 16-356, as amended by this act, and the criteria by which the department determines the amount of such civil penalties.

Approved May 4, 2004